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Unformatted text preview: Along with Grendel, Unferth represents the theme of envy in the epic. Shortly after Beowulf's arrival, Unferth, full of mead, insults the guest at a banquet. This is more than an awkward moment for the hosts. Unferth's behavior goes against the code of hospitality. Unferth accuses Beowulf, as a lad, of entering a dangerous, foolish seven-night swimming match on the open sea against a boy named Breca and losing. Fortunately for the Dane, Beowulf demonstrates a noble spirit as well as ease with language as he refutes the charge and puts Unferth in his place. In fact, Beowulf says, he swam with Breca for five nights, not wanting to abandon the weaker boy. Rough seas separated them, and Beowulf had to kill nine mighty sea monsters before going ashore the next day. Beowulf points out that Unferth's fame lies mainly in the fact that he killed his own brothers. If the Dane could fight as well as he talks, says lies mainly in the fact that he killed his own brothers....
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- Fall '09